The Town of Hillsborough, NC has passed new legislation that makes failing to accommodate transgender people a misdemeanor that carries a fine of up to $500.
The legislation added to the municipal code Section 5-11.a — Prohibition on discrimination in places of public accommodation and in employment. — defines discrimination as “any difference in treatment based on race, creed, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin or ancestry, marital or familial status, pregnancy, veteran status, religious belief, age, or disability.”
The legislation applies to employers as well as places of “public accommodations.” There is no exception stated in the legislation for churches or other faith-based organizations.
The legislation defines employer as “any person employing one or more persons within the Town of Hillsborough and any person acting in the interest of an employer, directly or indirectly.”
The legislation defines public accommodation as “any place, facility, store, other establishment, hotel, or motel that supplies goods or services on the premises to the public or which solicits or accepts the patronage or trade of any person.”
The legislation makes it illegal for these employers or places of public accommodations to “deny any person” regardless of their “gender expression” or “gender identity,” the full enjoyment of the accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges thereof” — again, with no exceptions for churches or faith-based organizations.
And since churches employ people and offer public accommodations, it seems very likely that this legislation will be exploited to force these institutions to “accommodate” perversion.